Solemn Hearts / Christmas Wishes

My heart is in many different places on Christmas. It is joyful and playful, but also seized by a sliver of solemnity. A still silence that bows to some majesty that has either been forced upon me from outside myself, or one that is innate.

I try to grasp why, or find the true source of it, but come up incomplete.

Of course, I consider the birth of Christ – the celebration of a transcendental Son of God who came to Earth to absolve our sin and bear the ultimate sacrifice.

And of Yule and the Solstice, which celebrate the wheel of the season turning to the light and the end of the ever-darkening nights.

And of the coming together of family and friends, of food and drink, and gift giving and merriment. The child-like wonderment and excitement. None of these seems to fit the bill alone – but together, they start to build a clearer picture…

The “spirit of Christmas” and the “spirit of Christ” are imbued in this lovely holiday, but it doesn’t escape me that the actual birthdate of Christ is contested, as it should be when we travel back so far in time. December 25th also happily coincides with the Roman birthday of the Sun God, or Saturnalia. I read recently that the Roman Emperor Constantine was known to believe that Jesus Christ was the second coming of the Roman Sun God, so he conveniently interwove this Roman holiday into the Jesus canon to effectively combine the two and create more streamlined merriment in the empire, rather than have competing religious sects celebrate disconnectedly. More synchronized merriment meant a more synchronized society, right?

In this way, it feels a little hollow to be celebrating the birthday of Christ on a day chosen more to foster conformity than to celebrate a great gift to humanity.

Throw in the Solstice celebrations and the carryovers from Yule celebrations in northern Europe and you have what feels like a very piecemeal holiday. A holiday that is cobbled together from all sorts of traditions and faiths and regions of the world, to be celebrated at the same time, for synchronicity-sake.

Then throw in the consumerism – ugh! – and much of the magic of any of these things is likely to feel shortsighted.

But perhaps we find congruity in the weird oneness of it all. All of these things to be celebrated and toasted at the same time… Together, they hold more power?

Sometimes when I consider all these different elements in the mix during the holiday season, I can’t help but smirk or laugh at the solemn Christmas services, or of Christians who think there is a war to destroy the Christ in CHRISTmas. I appreciate the wonder and awe of the season and the coming together of family and friends, and even the spirit of Christ that we are celebrating, but given the Frankenstein-like nature of it all, why take it so seriously?

This year I am seeing this all through new, curious eyes. The eyes of my daughter. What is the true meaning of Christmas? Where does this unmistakable solemnity emerge from?

All these different elements combined?

Or perhaps… somewhere deeper?

When I consider how to explain that we are celebrating Jesus’s disputed birthday, and essentially (from a Christian standpoint) the starting point of redemption… I wonder how to add some additional spiritual background so that the holiday is not fixated on just materialistic components or the appropriated combination of our religious ancestries – although this is great context.

The trees and decoration and Santa and Yule and the Birthday of Jesus and Winter Solstice are not necessary components to celebrate our redemption and holiness.

They are just reminders.
Elements that enrich and add to the human experience of the holiday.
Deepen the tapestry.

I think it possible that the real redemption, the real holiness we are striving to celebrate, is our inner redemption. The redemption of our innocent nature that transcends and yet is contained at our core. Our child-like wonder.

We are all sheep in need of herding, and we need to take the shepard-ing seriously. Solemnly.

We are all children, after all.

Whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate this holiday season, I wish you much love and peace on your inner redemptive journey – wherever you find it.

Cheers, Love and Merry Christmas.

We Are the Clay, We Are the Potter

When we are born into this world, we are mushy and undefined – much more than our animal counterparts. We have a backing of DNA and genetics which can (and does) affect the trajectory of our lives, but in a large sense, we are born without the “built-in” instincts that our mammalian relatives have.

While other animals walk or run within hours of life, we humans do no such thing. We humans rely exclusively on caregivers and environment to give us our start and oil our potential. We are pretty much born a lump of clay – with all the potential our genetics can provide, but largely leaving our fate in the hands of our environment, which molds our clay to the world we live in.

In other words, we are born as an undefined “Full Slate” of much potential that the world then co-opts. We are all entirely a co-creation of the world we are born into.

What evolutionary advantage does this serve us? Dr. David Eagleman asks this question (in his TV series The Brain), and it really got me thinking. Indeed, it is a risky thing to be so heavily dependent on environmental factors in order to guide our brain development to its full potential. In the second episode of the series, he cites that our brains finish building the vast majority of neural networks by age 2. In effect, the first two years of your life have immense importance on your cognitive future. And given that social contact and human interaction is highly associated with building neural networks, if a child is missing out on these crucial components in the first two years, then they suffer for it – even potentially into adulthood if the experience was severe.

How in the world is it more advantageous for our evolution to be so dependent on the environment we are born into?

From a non-scientific, hypothetically spiritual point of view… I feel that our positive advancement forward depends on the wheel of advancement before us. One influences the other, and in an exponential way. Our positive life experiences influence future generations, and so on.

However, it is just as likely that the wheel of influence will work the other way – negatively – and then snowball the other direction.

But then – when looked at from that perspective – being born as an undefined, moldable lump of clay serves a greater purpose than we may have supposed. Even if the world is snowballing into dark, unfortunate events, the chance will still exist that we can snowball the other way. We can be re-molded. We are always born into the neutral, and could essentially “re-start” if the chance presented itself. Even as adults, our neural-plasticity can bear amazing feats.

What gives me hope is that one small act of positivity can roll fast and large into more and more positivity – faster than we thought possible. Even with the garbage of the political climate and international terrorism looming dark and ominous, I am struck by how many people that are thinking beyond it. That are being led by their hearts, and not their fear. I actually didn’t expect it at all.

It is this rhetoric that I think will lead us to the future. Leaning on our heart intelligence, our dual intelligence, is how I think we will overcome and grow in heart and spirit. And all it takes is one little snowball.

I want to take a moment to be grateful for the immense beauty of being born into a world with a vast infinite potential that is unwritten.
It is a risk – yes – but also a loving, joyful, and trusting leap of faith.

What a thing to be thankful for.

Tears of Equilibrium

Sometimes I feel that becoming a parent leaves you with your guts poured out on the floor. All of you, in its messy gloriousness, spread everywhere for the world to see.

As it is literally with childbirth, I suppose it is only rational for the rest of you – the inner, emotional you, to follow suit. The inner to mirror the outer.

But I don’t think you need to have the physical experience of birth to feel this way. To be a little “inside-out.” For the outer façade to crack a little, letting your inner ‘innocent self’ leak out. Tears streaming.

I have throughout my life felt I was naïve. Vulnerable. Maybe a bit emotional. And our culture certainly does not value being emotional or naïve. So I – like many others – have adapted my personality and behavior to avoid appearing this way, and detouring around messy spills of myself onto unsuspecting passersby.

Because the last thing anyone wants is a bunch of stares and sideways glances, of people wondering “Why is she crying? What’s happened?”
Hidden for so long under the stoic surface, emotive force was always a hairsbreadth away from cracking my calm, still demeanor. I feel that I reach this emotional cracking point, or tear-stricken ‘event horizon,’ multiple times per day. And it is not due to sadness or melancholy or grief in humanity, although those things are indeed everywhere you look.

For me, this ‘cracking point’ is most evident in ordinary moments of life. In loving my family, feeling profound love, talking about oneness, seeing people come together. By being thankful and bowing to greatness within. Being happy and moved by whatever that “Cosmic Infinite Source” is.

This makes going to any kind of church or having spiritual conversations without tears impossible. So I tend to avoid them. Or to tread with caution.

Because I don’t desire to be a blubbering mess (as society has trained me to believe is “weak” or “inappropriate” outside of grief), I close myself off. I will avoid eye contact. I won’t first reach out to hug someone in distress or sadness. I may clam up and not engage in conversation. I mentally wander away in order to avoid the subject at hand and keep my eyes dry. I push past things without realizing it. I put up walls.

I have been told many times that I am “grounded,” or calm under pressure – and I take these as great compliments. To be a calm within the storm. To exercise my control in the situation, and remain as still as the rocks at the shore. To be pummeled by the waves, but showing little evidence. But sometimes, usually after the fact, I think I come off as cold.

Cold, hard and jutty – just like those rocks.

Maybe it is okay to be a part of the storm from time to time. To join it. To feel it.

I often use these “grounded” compliments as excuses not to cry joy at everyone I meet every day. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as our neat and buttoned-up world would like me to acknowledge, but being a blubbering mess does hinder my communication verbally, and would lead to many stares and personal assumptions from others. My want to keep my emotive forces under control in daily life is my adaptive behavioral response to a messy, spiraling, stormy world around me. A world that makes assumptions and sometimes labels me unfairly – whether I wanted to be or not.

We humans like exercising control, and if we cannot control the government or the Syrian refugee response, then we can at least control our emotions and other people’s perceptions of ourselves. Right?

*

In a past entry, I hypothesized emotions as a divine ‘energy’ or ‘force’ that perhaps we pull from the Cosmic Soup and translate into a specific type of kinetic energy – emotional energy. An energy that we use to drive forward and compel our lives and that of the world.

Some energy is draining (fear and hate), and some insanely uplifting and life-giving (joy and love). Depending upon the energy you express, you will interact with and achieve typical results from either of the two.

In essence, we use our emotive forces to propel forward our world and society around us.

I read some articles recently (here and here – among others) that crying is the body’s biological response to excess stress – and that some studies show people who cry in times of duress are more likely to get their anxiety and stress more quickly under control than those that don’t.

This made me wonder…if crying is a stress response of the body, does that essentially mean it is a stress response to an overload of kinetic energy? An overdose of divine cosmic energy, flooding through you as a particular emotion? Maybe an overreaching thought, but an interesting one.

As someone who cries at ANY powerful emotion no matter what it is – anger, sadness, frustration, happiness, friendship, love, joy, passion – it seems a good explanation. It means I have just pulled too much energy for my body to biologically make sense of, so it must create a response to calm me down and get back to equilibrium. That in fact, through the act of tears, I can be swept away by the storm, but am able to be brought back to the shore more quickly and resolutely.

That in losing yourself in the tears, you will also find yourself – and ground yourself – reliably.

Even taken with a grain of skeptic’s salt, this thought gives me solace. But not necessarily the green card for sobbing at the office in order to gain equilibrium for a mounting workload.

More and more, though, my rocky surface is starting to erode. The storm starts to poke through. The stoic gates come crashing down much more easily than it ever did before.

Once you let the flood into your heart, it returns and pours fondly. Again and again.

We Are Sailors

Does God consciously make decisions or pull the strings?

I think it’s more of an interaction. As we engage with God and life, this relationship produces actions and reactions, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Depends on the type of engagement.

An intelligent source that needs agents and directors to produce and create.

An intelligent source that flows, but needs winds to move it and hearts to guide it.

We are those sailors of the heart, but we are not just sailing with the wind – we are having a hand in its direction.

Helming the ships of destiny.

***

Here is another short story I wrote regarding this same theme – sailing on the seas of the heart. Something I keep coming back to again and again.

Fear: Shutter of The Heart

Is Fear the most dangerous thing of all? Does it really serve a good purpose, or is it hiding the true reality? The thing I find myself fearing is fear itself, and what it’s doing to us as a culture, as human beings.

What do we do when we live in fear? We shut down. When we act from fear, we literally process information in ‘life or death’ terms and activate our ‘fight or flight’ response in the body. This mechanism exists to keep us safe and keep us alive. But in doing so, our immune system shuts down. Our brains turn off. Creativity drains away. Infinite possibilities evaporate. Open arms and hearts close up, barring entrance from anything or anyone suspicious. We process only that information which benefits the situation and the final ‘fight or flight’ decision. Only that and nothing else. Why would your brain waste precious energy in a life and death situation trying to be creative and open-minded? Doing so might cost our life!

Yet even with all the life-saving functions, we were not meant to live in fear ALL of our lives – only for small instances where we needed to outrun someone with a club, think fast on the road, survive an encounter with a bear, or save a loved one from scary situation. But the fear response, and what it creates and does to us, cannot possibly benefit us if we are living it every moment of every day. A dark cloud looming overhead. This emotional force was designed to save our lives in short bursts, not to be endured for an extended period.

What a toll this fear is taking on our health and our hearts. Constant fear certainly will not nurture our souls so we may grow and evolve as humans.

It seems to me that fear cannot inherently exist where there is love. Real, infinite love. If you are operating out of love, you have no fear, only confidence of the moment and the person or situation in front of you. Fear accomplishes nothing; Love accomplishes everything.

Without fear, I really do think we can see things as they really are – and not through the lens of darkness that fear creates. What illusions might we be seeing that we are interpreting as real? That are only shadows from a deep fear in our mind?

Who plants the seeds of those shadows? How can we remove them, shine the light to reveal their true nature and source? Will an open heart reveal them, lift them from our shoulders?

Fear puts words into our mouths that are not our own. Fear ignites motivations that stem from false truths. Fear paralyzes us, but tricks us into thinking we are doing great things and protecting the common good. Fear does not encourage us to think outside ourselves and our own interest. Fear shutters our hearts and minds from infinite love.

Belief in God… the three-letter-word

I’ve recently been trying to define my belief in God, or map it in some way, but it’s hard to describe. I’ll cut to the chase:

I think the subconscious is a direct line to God. I think the subconscious IS God.

I don’t think this is a sensational thought. In fact, I thought this to myself today and sighed in relief, as I think this is where I’ve been headed on my spiritual journey; finally, a destination of some sort has been sighted!

My own belief in God has been greatly enhanced and catapulted by recent readings from neuroscience and psychology, and also by physicists and other scientists who are trying to figure out what is this “cosmic background” that we are living in; what is “Consciousness.” And I naturally then start to wonder where the consciousness, raw emotion, ideas and imagination comes from. Within us? Without us? I personally don’t think these things originate only within ourselves… this only seems part of the equation.

I think it is entirely plausible that we are all receptors of God-consciousness and that every time we engage our imagination, feel emotions, and ideate, we are connecting to the ‘Cosmic Source’ – a divine source. I find that I am coming to the conclusion that ideas do not originate inside the bony, squishy skulls our thoughts call home: they originate through the subconscious, through the heart.

And that the heart – the spiritual, subconscious heart – is the receiver, the direct line within us of God’s divine force and intelligence.

I keep going back to the idea that the subconscious activity – as opposed to the conscious activity – is what is really driving the bus, and scientists agree. But we aren’t consciously aware of this. Why? Because we don’t have to be. We live in a biological world that has no biological need to.

Our brains are evolutionary wired to only tell us what we need to know to survive and pro-create, no more, no less. In this sense, it makes zero sense for us to know and feel all the subconscious activity that is going on in our brain. If we did, we would not function! Think about all the automatic processes that your brain is doing right now for you, and that you are not even aware: your brain is filling in holes in your vision in order to read this, your brain is automatically regulating your breathing to get your body it’s needed oxygen, your brain is creating quick, rapid-fire first impressions on my writing as you are reading this, most likely based on all your past memories and emotions in order to sort out if you should feel happy, sad, or upset – or whether or not to activate some kind of fight or flight response.

ALL of these things, and many, many more, are happening right now without you having conscious knowledge. And we do not need to know about these things, because if we had to consciously focus on them we would not have the brain function left to focus on other things, like building things, imagining things, thinking things, dreaming things….

We don’t know where our ideas or emotions come from because we don’t need to. We just feel them and think them, and they propel our lives.

I often think of ourselves as being suspended in a cosmic “soup,” within our machine-like, bio-computer bodies, and are permeable to the God-consciousness – the “God Soup” – that surrounds us. And this God-consciousness, or source, or the Infinite, or the cosmic background, or just God – whatever you would like to call it – is everything and nothing, all at the same time, continuing on into infinity, forever and ever and ever. This is how I think about God. And I think it possible we can access Him with our subconscious; that our subconscious can access infinity. A crazy thought.

When I think about God being ‘permeable’ it increases my relationship with Him (– or It, She, You, Me, whatever pronoun you prefer). God being permeable means He is more accessible – He is no longer “distant” or disconnected or omnipresent and omnipotent; what we think of when we think of an ‘infinite unyielding God.’ No – this is a God that we are co-creating with. This is a God that we are in intimate relationship with every day of our lives. This is a God that we are connected to. Permeable.

When I pray, meditate, journal, write, or do stream of consciousness writing, I feel like I’m connecting with something beyond myself. Outside of myself. And if I ‘go with the flow’ in this reflective state, I often activate my imagination. Here, in these creative thoughts or imaginative prayers, I find true passion, peace and ultimate love. God is not somewhere else; He is here.

And what is God but love – infinite, undefinable, no-restrictions love. The love that comes no-strings-attached. Feel it? Feel that love? God is within you.

***

When I define my belief in general terms, it comes down to two main thoughts that guide me:

  1. Separation is an illusion. This applies to all things: material, spiritual, God.  To tear down walls is to remove the “Us vs. Them” psychological prison so we may be more present and observant of our true connectedness.
  2. Live in love. Everything in love.

I’m not perfect, but I’m making strides. These two principles might come and go on my journey, but they strike me as the best guides that I have in this moment.

If I get a sense of “Us vs. Them” I know that the situation has been built on lies or untruths. If I am feeling that something is not being said or done in true, no-strings-attached love, I know it has been built on lies or untruths.

I am a seeker, and I will continue digging and seeking if I find untruths in my life and in others’ lives. Because we are all One in the Heart. Because I am You. Because You are Me. Because this is important. And the only way I think we can find these untruths is through the two steps above – nothing more, nothing less.

This is my obligation as a piece of humanity – my obligation as a piece of God.

In this way, I do not simply have a belief in God; I have a knowingness of God.

***

Thank you fellow heart-led blogger Mel at Mel’s Mouth, for inspiring me to write and think deeply about my belief in more distinct terms… Pushing me further down the rabbit hole 🙂

Flawed by Nature, or Flawed by Nurture?

I struggle with why and how a fellow human being comes to the decision to kill many others, go on a ‘rampage’ with a gun or other weapon, and cause this kind of deep hurt and malice.

I try to put myself in someone’s shoes, to work out what kind of motivations might meet me there, in a place so dark as to consider murder as the solution to a problem.

I wrestle with the concept that this kind of action is not only becoming commonplace in our “advanced” society, but – dare I say it – trendy. A trending way for the outcast, disgruntled, or misunderstood persons among us to express their grief, anger, or sadness. A way to act out. A way to be heard or known. Or perhaps they feel nothing at all.

***

How does a civilized world like our own create and nurture people to have them act like this?

It doesn’t. I think this is the problem. We are NOT a culture of nurturing, and I think it’s heading to our undoing.

In this day and age, when we think we are so strong and free and intelligent, self-reliant and confidant, I think it’s possible that this is a farce. An outright lie. That we, as Americans, act this way based on an early preconception in our nation’s history that we are powerful and don’t need anyone else to survive. That our nation is the greatest, that Freedom rings from sea to shining sea – without “handouts” or support from anyone else.

This false truth has trickled down into the individual minds and consciousness of our populace, and now we impart these ideas on a day-to-day basis as an integral part of our own self-concept. We promote ‘picking oneself up by the bootstraps’ as the end-all, be-all of the American Dream. We are told that if we work hard, we will be rewarded. If we persevere, we will prevail. Survival of the fittest. When we see millionaires, we believe them to deserve the riches they worked for – and if we see someone by the side of the road, with a sign held up asking for help, we think they must have done something horrible to end up there. Or even more common, that they are lazy and don’t work hard, thus they are getting their comeuppance.

Personally, I am coming to the conclusion that this is an outright lie; an illusion that has lodged itself into our brains and drives us to a hard-edged, patriotic culture. Where we are pushed out into the world to conquer it, or be conquered.

This way of thinking is not only detrimental to ourselves, but detrimental to humanity as a whole. It is a cold, calculating, logical way of thinking that removes the human-centered, “fluffy” emotions that are integral to how we think and act. When you are telling others that their feelings and emotions are shameful and wrong, you are devaluing their experience.

In many ways, Christianity and religion promote shaming. And as we think of ourselves as a “Christian nation,” we also shame and devalue others for how they feel or think that we don’t approve of.

We tell people that feelings and emotions are wrong all the time. The most pertinent and personal examples to me are the “cry it out” sleep training we parents are advised to do, or telling mothers that they spoil their baby by picking them up too much or nursing them to sleep. What are these things really saying? They send a message to the infant that we are not receptive to their needs; to their emotions and what they are going through. That we are not empathetic; only sympathetic.

Babies do not know they are being spoiled or that they need to sleep on their own; they don’t know the concept of self-reliance. (That is an ADULT concept.) Babies just want their emotions –their experience – to be validated, to be nurtured. To be comforted and know they are not alone.

As it is with our adult selves.

***

Gunman, I hear the news telling me to not acknowledge your name or your actions, as this would give credit to you and your “cause” or motives. That it would give you glory. But actually, in reading about you and others like you, if I read about you and your life, I feel deep sadness. I want to figure things out and make them right. How in God’s grace is it possible for you to kill others and justify this as a solution to a problem?

This is the kind of decision that one makes in a cold, calculating manner. A loveless manner. This is the decision from someone who feels unconnected and alone; someone who does not see things as human-centered. Perhaps someone who has been shamed for feeling wrong. Someone who feels mocked or belittled. Someone who has been ignored or kicked down, because they have been told they deserve it. Because we are sinful creatures. Flawed creatures.

I implore you: we are not flawed by nature; we are flawed by nurture.

In our free will as individuals, we are free to inflict harm on others. However, within us there exists a morality that guides us as to how to function with love and respect. A morality that must be nurtured. A morality that must be taught how to love. We need to witness it in the world, see examples, feel it in our hearts, if we are to act on it and live it.

We tend to imitate that which we see and hear in our lives. The motives, the thoughts of those closest to us, and the ideas presented by society. And our society is very bad at emulating nurturing, encouragement, and love.

If we tell others how wrong they are, inflict shame and guilt, but tell them to figure it out for themselves – or even worse, to ignore them – we are not nurturing our people. We are abandoning them.

What is abandonment, but another kind of death?

***

This kind of violence embodies desperate actions from a desperate person. And I desperately pray and hope that you know you are not broken; there is always a way to fix it. Our culture may not think so, but there is.

I pray for healing, love, peace and the care of humanity. We are ALL humans of unfathomable worth; I think it is time that we all acknowledge that and put our money where our heart is.

Love and Light to you all.

Letting Go… To the Heart

In order to have control, we must give it up.

In order to have power, we must let go.

In order to rule, we must surrender.

Are these statements true?

I have been ruminating much on the meaning of these phrases for some time now, and I believe the answer is…YES.

It appears to me that a lot of wisdom is gained in life when we are able to let go of things we cannot control, to release the worries and the burdens that we carry in our hearts and minds to become freer to be otherwise. But when we let go of the conscious control, and hand our fate over to God or ‘destiny’ or what have you, are we really just gaining subconscious control? Do we hand over the reins to the heart intelligence? This, I believe, is where our true wisdom might lie…

Perhaps the world around us is intricately connected with the heart-subconscious in a way that is too complicated for us to comprehend. That they exist co-dependently somehow. If this is true, then there is no fathomable way for us to try and control this world with our conscious minds, as the conscious mind is only aware of a portion of our reality; a tiny sliver of our visible and perceptible world. Only the portion that we need to know and perceive in order to survive and evolve – no more, and no less.*

And yet the subconscious heart is the navigational system that we so desperately seek to have control of, but lies just outside of conscious reach. Maybe the only way to access this valuable information is to let go of the conscious desire, the conscious will of the ‘self’ and the ‘ego’ that is constantly dictating that WE NEED to be the driver of our lives. That WE are in control.

Instead, maybe we should hand this job off to the subconscious. To the heart.

Maybe if we want the greatest power and knowledge and peace, we should move to surrender our conscious will to the heart. (Which ironically, we have to do consciously…? Sorry, I can’t help but chuckle at that!)

Can the heart do the heavy lifting? Can the subconscious drive us to where we want and need to go?

I think it already is. Perhaps our conscious-reasoning brain is just getting in the way all the time!

 

*If this topic of evolutionary perception and consciousness is of interest, Google the work of Donald Hoffman, who studies consciousness, perception, and how we view reality. You can view his great TED talk here. Watching this video earlier this year really sent me down the rabbit hole!

Parallels

A girl stooped down to tie her shoe. She was thinking about God.

Not THAT God. NEVER that God. The other one. The loving one.

She knew He was there. Or He/She. Or it. Whatever the ‘Source’ wanted to be called. There – in that spot that is unknowable, but relatable –  He resides.

She continued on with her walk to get coffee. The buildings surrounded her with weight and substance, but were not quite relevant. Brick and stone mortared to the world they stood, but not rooted.

Yet the more she walked this path in her life, this one she walked every day to get coffee, every day past these same soulless blocks of architecture that loomed overhead, she came to like them. There was a familiarity and ordinariness of how they stood by, in the same places, day after day. They were like the embrace of family for the flesh and bones of the humans that occupied them day after day. Humans who implanted and projected the blank buildings full of meaning and memories. Thus calling them ‘home.’ Because of this, the buildings then grow unseen roots that are not bound to this world, but the world that lives just below the surface. The one of feeling, of emotion and spirit. A world no less real then the one seen with her eyes.

From this, the buildings become something else. Something like an extension of the humans living amongst them. Buildings that cradle them and the humans loving them back. A coexistence of sorts. The humans loved and appreciated these brick blocks in a way that they themselves would not recognize: they loved them by paying them no mind. They loved them because they were not a threat. They loved them because their existence was to help us find meaning and roots of our own by standing by every day, in the same place, accepting and implanting whatever we give them. By reflecting our own meaning back to us.

Is this how God works? she thought quietly.

Does he help us by mirroring our meaning? Does he protect and guide us by being there everyday, offering familiarity and safety, but not interfering?

This was a comforting thought. That God was ordinary and stationery, standing over her day after day, never judging or emoting. Just being there, helping her to find meaning and build purpose and love without her ever realizing.

She smiled to herself and ordered her coffee. She saw the coffee shop with new vigor. New appreciation. All the drab window frames and coffee-stained countertops were now there in a way they were not before. Like they were smiling back.

She put her extra change in the tip jar and went out the door, past the dull bricks and stone, past the other humans, and felt in her a new coziness.

Maybe the cradle of the buildings.

 

sidewalk_thoughts

Lost Connectedness

What is the true meaning – the true purpose – of religion? To find God? To save yourself? To redeem yourself? To have a pathway to morality?

No, I don’t think any of those statements fully captures the main purpose – the real, subconscious drive that lights us up inside and compels us to seek and devote ourselves to any cause or religion. I think it might be more accurate that the main driver is connection.

Connection to God. Connection to others. Connection to this world. Connection to a higher purpose. Isn’t connection just love, as another word?

Again and again I am pulled to the belief that we as humans are inter-connected – a social consciousness. A symbiotic ‘net’ that for some reason does not know of it’s inherent symbiotic ‘net-ness.’ That we are operating in autonomy is an illusion, a conscious construction, because we are really ONE, subconsciously, in the heart.

It seems possible to me that each religion that we have ever seen is only trying to regain that connection. But I think the tragedy here is that because the religion is consciously created, and borne out of the conscious thought preconceptions (that we have lived and been programmed with for millennia) that presuppose that we are separate in the first place, they may be doomed to fall short of that which they ultimately strive for: TRUE connectedness.

True connectedness does not put up walls. True connectedness tears them down. Connectedness does not need religion. Connectedness is connectedness. It doesn’t need rules to engage. It just is.

In my heart I feel that the pervasive illusion of our time is this thought that we are separate. Separate in race, separate in religion, separate in nationality, separate in education, creed, in even morality.  Separateness seems to me a pervasive weed in our collective subconscious – our heart – that is always whispering in our ears that we are different, that they are not us. That seems to me an evil in itself, to use such a strong word. Who put this idea in our hearts?  Who pushes this agenda among us? How did the seed of this thought get incepted in the first place?

Perhaps we were once conscious of our connectedness, in a past time too far back for collective memory to fathom. But somehow, in some way, we’ve let this external world creep up and convince us that there are walls and they were always meant to be there. For our safety. For our benefit.

How can we take down these walls? How can we see the world and ourselves the way we ought to? Maybe we should ask ourselves what we are so afraid of, and then dive deeper into the pool. In order to keep swimming in the face of our insurmountable panic.